FanDuel - WFBC

January 19, 2007

Samardzija chooses baseball.: The All-American WR signed a five-year, 10.5 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs, thus putting an end to his storied football career. Was this the right choice? Only time will tell.

posted by erkno11 to baseball at 03:01 PM - 28 comments

lucky him, what a hard choice to make. 10.5 million in guaranteed money in one hand and a probable first round NFL draft pick in the other. I would have done the same thing and taken the guaranteed money and the greater earning potential that exists in MLB. However, RHP's that throw 95+ and have developing sliders are somewhat abundant in the lower levels of minor league baseball. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Cubs try to advance him through their system and get him to the ML's. I'm sure the Cubs hope he will develop and advance along the lines of Huston Street and Chad Cordero

posted by erkno11 at 03:08 PM on January 19

the 10.5 million figure is not correct. i've ready it is anywhere between 8-10+ million.

posted by erkno11 at 03:21 PM on January 19

One pundit that I heard on one or another tTV sports program said something to the effect that Samardzjia would not have had great success in the NFL. He did well against the lesser teams that Notre Dame played, but was held in check (the term used was "beaten up" if I remember correctly), by defensive backs of major college caliber. Sounds like he might have been doing a little study on his own about his chances in the NFL.

posted by Howard_T at 03:50 PM on January 19

I think he made the correct decision by choosing baseball over football. He has great hands but I don't think he was durable enough to man up with those NFL corners and safeties.

posted by jm_mosier at 04:08 PM on January 19

They said his interest in being a two-sport player was going to lower his draft position, so it makes sense to go with guaranteed money in the less violent sport (rotator cuffs excepted).

posted by yerfatma at 04:30 PM on January 19

he'll probably live longer.

posted by garfield at 04:30 PM on January 19

Guarenteed money is the key to this discussion for me. An NFL team can break you, cut you and conveniently not pay you. If you offer me any amount of money or a chance at a similiar amount of money as long as I don't get crushed going across the middle against Brian Urlacher I will take the sure thing.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 04:56 PM on January 19

Look at Andre Waters. Easy choice.

posted by carolinared at 05:49 PM on January 19

Less chance of knee injuries + guaranteed money + if he makes it in Chicago, he's a god + success rates of first round draft pick wideouts recently = good decision.

posted by Bonkers at 07:05 PM on January 19

Plus, if he can't hack it NFL teams have proven that they absolutely love signing the failed ball player who chose baseball over football.

posted by YukonGold at 07:56 PM on January 19

He is as technically sound in his pitching fundamentals as Ron Artest is in his basketball game. Seriously. Check out Ron when he rebounds, when he gets his steals and when he charges into the stand to attack season-ticket-holding-fans... ...Which is not to say that he is as slow as Brad Miller on the basketball court. Taking the easy money that baseball offers as opposed to the non-guarantees that football contracts offer is a no-brainer... ...however, he is no 'Neon Deion'. In fact coming up with a moniker for Jeff Szmeaiderkajlkjalh will be tough. Perhaps Cromide, Hydrogen, Lithium, Einsteinium or Bromide has a chance of raising its popularity by being connected to a famous athlete?

posted by pbrandguru at 08:42 PM on January 19

Plus, if he can't hack it NFL teams have proven that they absolutely love signing the failed ball player who chose baseball over football. Outside of Drew Henson, who are you thinking of, Yukon?

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:07 PM on January 19

Day-to-day of a baseball player vs. day-to-day of a football player. Throw in the guaranteed money and this is as easy as choosing between a 25-year-old flirt and a 55-year-old chain smoker at a bar.

posted by DudeDykstra at 12:00 AM on January 20

Primarily Drew Henson, but it seems that every year there's someone be it a baseball player, sprinter, wrestler, etc. that gets touted on Sportscenter as the next big signing. NFL teams do have the luxury of picking up anyone on a whim because of the contracts.

posted by YukonGold at 07:47 AM on January 20

He's a great athlete to even be able to choose between the two sports, and I wouldn't fault him for picking either. Baseball, however, is probably the most difficult sport to really "make it" in. Right now there are rosters chock-full of pitchers, talent, and guys trying to rise up through the minor leagues. Samardzija may have benefited from being a well-known Golden Domer, Brady Quinn's favorite target, etc., when the Cubs' organization picked him up, and there's no doubt his name will be an attraction the first year or so around the minors. After that wears off, though, he'll have to show he has what it takes to get guys out at the top level. Guys who throw in the mid-to-upper '90s are not too rare.

posted by dyams at 08:01 AM on January 20

Wrong Choice. He would have been a top ten NFL draft pick according to Mel Kiper. The second best wide reciever in the nation behind Calvin Johnson. Besides that fact that excessing in Notre Dame football is a lot more glamorous than excessing in baseball, straight money earnings of a top 10 pick in last years draft means his signing bonus would have been more than 10.5 million dollars. Thats guaranteed money. He'd play on Sunday's, on national TV, with a major NFL franchise instead of on weekdays for a Single A with 500 people in the stands.

posted by the legend at 11:27 AM on January 20

I have to agree with several other posters that the guaranteed money and less wear and tear on his body were the keys to his decision. And as a Cubs fan, my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered. I have not seem him play baseball, but from what I have heard, he doesn't really do anything special. He has a 95+ mph fastball and is developing a decent slider. That kind of sounds like most righties in the majors.

posted by willthrill72 at 12:18 PM on January 20

Maybe he just liked baseball better.

posted by chicobangs at 01:03 PM on January 20

I'm a Cubs fan and I can't believe some Notre Dame reciever would rather play for the Cubs than pro football I'm glad the franchise treated him with class and respect but I still see a 12-8 4.20 era a few years from now not ripping on him I just haven't ever seen him pitch and by the way 12-8 ain't so bad so I wish him the best of luck in his baseball career

posted by luther70 at 03:14 PM on January 20

John Elway was a guy who got drafted by the Yankees, but went to the NFL.

posted by Clevelander32 at 04:52 PM on January 20

Tom Brady and Michael Bishop, the two best New England QBs of all time, as voted by WEEI listeners. Both drafted as 3rd basemen. Cannons.

posted by yerfatma at 06:12 PM on January 20

I'm glad the franchise treated him with class and respect but I still see a 12-8 4.20 era a few years from now Ted Lilly and Jeff Suppan converted basically that line to multi-year deals at over $10MM per year. Tom Brady and Michael Bishop, the two best New England QBs of all time, as voted by WEEI listeners. Both drafted as 3rd basemen. Cannons According to his bio at the Patriots web site, Brady was drafted as a catcher. I'm sure his arm came in handy there as well.

posted by holden at 07:13 PM on January 20

Meh. He's no Michael Bishop.

posted by yerfatma at 08:01 PM on January 20

Meh. He's no Michael Bishop. yeah, well neither of them are dave winfield.

posted by goddam at 01:53 AM on January 21

Winfield may have been a 4 sport athlete, but he never got know Diddley like Bo Jackson did.

posted by spira at 03:44 AM on January 21

Never knew that about Winfield. Crazy.

posted by tieguy at 07:57 AM on January 21

Guarenteed money is the key to this discussion for me. The article does not mention a noble fact. I saw on the local news in Chicago that Samardzija was offered a guaranteed contract. He was offered a guaranteed contract by the Cubs because he will return his signing bonus if he does not complete his contract and returns to football. Maybe his talent is very iffy at this point but his character certainly isn't. Welcome to the Cubs!

posted by danjel at 08:22 AM on January 21

I'm glad the franchise treated him with class and respect but I still see a 12-8 4.20 era a few years from now Ted Lilly and Jeff Suppan converted basically that line to multi-year deals at over $10MM per year. Samardzija would be doing fantastic to ever even reach the level of a Ted Lilly or Jeff Suppan. 12-8, 4.20 would be pretty damn good. I hope nobody's expecting him to be the second coming of Tom Seaver (I guess I could say Fergy Jenkins, since he's with the Cubs, but if I was to compare Samardzija to any other Cub ace, I'd be sentencing him to injury problems (and I still consider Maddux a Brave)). I'm sure now I'll be countered with a long list of every Cub pitcher who had some good seasons.

posted by dyams at 10:25 AM on January 21

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